Economic Development Research

  • Economic Development
    How can a town, city, county, state, region, or nation fully develop its economy?
    The question is simple and straightforward. The answer to this question, however, is rarely simple and straightforward. Every geographic area has unique, innate economic advantages that could become the basis of an economic development strategy, but economic development ultimately is an endeavor by people. Economic development works best when economic advantages are harmonized with human economic vision. An area’s residents, governments, institutions, and businesses must buy into and support an economic development plan to achieve optimal results.

Decision Analyst has wroked with city and community leaders to develop economic plans and to investigate economic conditions. For the first step, we start with in-depth interviews with community leaders, governmental officials, and business leaders. Each depth interview lasts about an hour. The purpose of these interviews is to identify strengths and weaknesses of the geographic area and to probe these leaders about the types of economic development they think would be best for the area. These depth interviews provide a foundation of knowledge and a number of hypotheses about possible economic development strategies.

Step two is assembling an analytical database of the geographic area, combining demographic, geographic, and economic variables, along with data on natural resources. This database provides an objective overview of an area’s resources, industries, employment, and historical trends, and it also provides accurate data for business relocation presentations.

Step three is analyzing all of this data and creating future scenarios for economic development. These future developmental scenarios would be the basis for surveying all stakeholders (residents, community leaders, business leaders, etc.) to identify the economic future that the community or city would be most likely to support and fund. These scenarios would also be used to survey outside companies and investors to see which scenarios would attract the greatest outside investment.

The final step would be analyzing the results of steps one, two, and three and preparing an economic development plan (or guide) for the city, county, or state. Decision Analyst is a research and analytical consulting firm with a long history of brand development, company development, and economic consulting. This consultancy is a leader in advanced statistical and analytic techniques, depth qualitative studies, sophisticated survey design and execution, and economic consulting.

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Decision Analyst has over 40 years experience in conducting economic development assessments. If you would like to discuss a specific project or would like more information, please contact Jerry W. Thomas, President/CEO ( or call 1-800-ANALYSIS (262-5974) or 1-817-640-6166.